ALL375 - Shakespeare Today: Sex, Race and Politics


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125
Cohort rule: Nil


Corequisite: Nil
Incompatible with: ALL275
Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the trimester undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 1 hour lecture (online), 1 x 2-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - online

Online independent and collaborative learning activities including 1 x 1-hour lecture (online) per week, 1 x 2-hour seminar or equivalent per week


Today, Shakespeare is probably the most important literary figure in any language. His impact on world literature has been immense. And the still-expanding shockwave of his influence can also be felt far from literature, in everyday contexts such as romance and race relations. What would the modern cult of love as passion be, for instance, without its poetic manual, Romeo and Juliet? For this very reason, Shakespeare used to be claimed by the cultural and political establishment as a spokesperson for the status quo. Recent work on Shakespeare has completely shattered that myth. Today, we discover a Shakespeare who was superbly critical. Perhaps, indeed, Shakespeare had secrets that bordered on treasonous. Certainly, Shakespeare wrote sex, race and love in ways that are dangerous and supple, not smug or congratulatory. The unit tracks this, highly contemporary Shakespeare, across six key texts. Students get to grips with Shakespeare’s plays and poems in a way that focuses on the way that his work that has kept its sting. Through queer theory and post-colonial readings, it explores Shakespeare’s refusal of the reigning orthodoxies of his day—and ours. Students will be asked to critically analyse a play or group of poems in light of these in current debates. Then they will have the opportunity to discover for themselves, and explore in depth, an innovative contemporary Shakespeare.

Unit Fee Information

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